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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #87 Michael Mayer, TE

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Will Mayer be the Next Great Notre Dame Tight End?

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2020 season.

#87 Michael Mayer, Tight end

Michael Mayer committed to the Irish on July 1, 2018. He selected the Irish over offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State, among others.

Per 247Sports Composite Rankings, Mayer was rated as a 5-star recruit. He was ranked as the best player in Kentucky, the 2nd best tight end, and 31st best overall player in the class of 2020. His hometown is Independence, Kentucky, and he attended Covington Catholic High School. He currently stands 6’ 5’’ and weighs 234 pounds.

During his senior year of high school, Mayer hauled in 49 passes for 970 yards and added 15 receiving touchdowns. He also played defense end, registering 102.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions. He was named Mr. Football in the State of Kentucky in 2019 and the 2019 Gatorade Kentucky Football Player of the Year. He also helped lead Covington Catholic to a State Championship in 2019 and was selected to play in the 2020 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Spirit Animal

Siberian Husky

Best Friend program for children with disabilities in Kemerovo Region Photo by Danil Aikin\TASS via Getty Images

The Siberian Husky breed is best known for its role in the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. They are powerful, fast, and are extremely durable animals. Per the AKC website, the Siberian Husky “performs his original function in a harness most capably, carrying a light load at a moderate speed, over great distances.” What is a more apt description of a talented tight end, such as Michael Mayer, rumbling up and down a football field than this?

2020 Outlook

Notre Dame has not brought in this type of talent at the tight end position since Kyle Rudolph arrived as a freshman in 2008. Based on his ability, it is hard to envision him staying for 5 years. Thus, I would expect him to be used by the staff throughout the year and play in more than 4 games. Due to the upperclassmen ahead of him on the depth chart, don’t expect Mayer to replicate Rudolph’s rare feat of starting all 13 games as a freshman in 2008.

I envision Michael Mayer becoming a rotational piece this season, mainly as a receiving threat in the slot. While he certainly possesses the physicality as a freshman to hold his own as a blocker, I would expect to see Brock Wright and George Takacs more often as the attached tight ends in running situations.